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Game Technology To Watch In 2009 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the axiously-awaiting-the-wii-hibachi dept.
IGN has compiled a list of gaming technology they expect to have a significant effect on this year's products. Leading the list is the 3D technology being pushed in television and films. A number of popular games are already set up to handle this, and more are on the way. They also suggest that improved Blu-ray technology, which allows much more storage, will pave the way for even bigger and better looking games. IGN hopes that brain-computer interfaces, such as Emotiv's headset, will become responsive enough to be taken seriously, and notes that DirectX 11 and a broader adoption for PhysX are on the horizon.
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Game Technology To Watch In 2009

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  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:34AM (#26967275)

    They also suggest that improved Blu-ray technology, which allows much more storage, will pave the way for even bigger and better looking games.

    I wasn't aware that we were hitting the 50Gb limit of today's BR-DL disks. To my knowledge, only one game has even come close (MGS4) and even then, it apparently only uses about 31Gb.

    • They also suggest that improved Blu-ray technology, which allows much more storage, will pave the way for even bigger and better looking games.

      I wasn't aware that we were hitting the 50Gb limit of today's BR-DL disks. To my knowledge, only one game has even come close (MGS4) and even then, it apparently only uses about 31Gb.

      I think that the expanded capacity for Blu-Ray discs will hardly have an impact on how games are produced unless they are Blu-Ray disc, or Playstation 3 exclusive. And yes, the only game to come close to using an entire BD is Metal Gear Solid 4. And even then, size doesn't mean a good game, Chrono Trigger is only a few megabytes in a SNES cartridge and I play that game more often these new 10GB and up games. And tons of digitally distributed games are tiny in comparison to disc based games but they play jus

      • by neokushan (932374)

        I don't know if I'd call the prospect of not having to change disks "Exciting", many people are already living the dream with HPCs in front of their TV's. Maybe not the most ideal solution, but I certainly don't think bigger disks are going to really change much just yet.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          How about AI that doesn't suck? I know AI isn't easy, but neither is cutting edge graphics. We get more and more bling, more and more boom, more and more razzle dazzle but frankly most of the games I play the AI just sucks. I don't know about everyone else but I would rather have some challenging AI than more fancy bling bling graphics. I personally think that we have far passed the "good enough" stage in that department.

          What would be nice is some decent AI that would put up a good fight along with some

          • by mcvos (645701)

            How about AI that doesn't suck?

            Doesn't show in screenshots and expensive advertisements.

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Oh, please. That old argument is crap. Let me show how easy it would be to sell AI.

              "Tired of the same old stupid enemies that run straight at you every time? Tired of the whole "bad guys so stupid they hide from gunfire behind gas tanks" BS? Then play new "Superkill 5000" and watch as this game KICKS YOUR ASS! Watch as the enemy plans and executes multilevel squad tactics against you and makes you work for every victory! No more sitting on a hill and picking them off like ducks anymore! Give away your posi

              • by mcvos (645701)

                Oh, please. That old argument is crap. Let me show how easy it would be to sell AI.

                "Tired of the same old stupid enemies that run straight at you every time? (snip)

                See how easy that was? Guys playing games WANT a good fight.

                Well, there are games that are marketed for their good AI. Galactic Civilizations is an example that always crop up, and although the AI is far from brilliant, it's still far better than that of any other strategy game, and it's good enough that a lot of players complain that it's too good, and Brad Wardell dumbed down the AI.

                The problem is: most people don't want good AI. Most people want to win, and they don't like it when they get beaten by mediocre AI, because then they have to admit that they're crap.

                T

                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  That is an RTS and a completely different market. Not to be insulting but comparing a RTS to a FPS is like comparing the latest Wario to CoD. I am someone who LOVES RTS games, and until EA turned into giant bastards I bought every C&C the second it came out. But with a good RTS you have SO many different things to keep up with and plan that really strong AI would make those games TOO tough.

                  And all we are asking for here is bad guys in a FPS that aren't total fucking morons. Because when "the elite co

                  • by mcvos (645701)

                    That is an RTS and a completely different market. Not to be insulting but comparing a RTS to a FPS is like comparing the latest Wario to CoD. I am someone who LOVES RTS games, and until EA turned into giant bastards I bought every C&C the second it came out. But with a good RTS you have SO many different things to keep up with and plan that really strong AI would make those games TOO tough.

                    I'm not talking about RTS (which, as you say, are more about speed than strategy), but about real strategy games: turn based. Time to actually think about strategy, and all that. In most turn-based strategy games, the AI takes no time to think while the player does, which puts the AI at a severe disadvantage. In Galactic civilizations, the AI does take time to think and is not entirely stupid, and that makes a huge difference.

                    It's still pretty easy to beat, though.

                    And all we are asking for here is bad guys in a FPS that aren't total fucking morons. Because when "the elite commandos trained in the art of war" sent to kill you don't even notice the huge pile of bodies of their comrades in front of them and don't have the slightest clue it might be a trap? Kinda blows the suspension of disbelief, at least for me.

                    And even that problem isn't all that hard t

          • a great deal of that is due to really stupid enemy AI.

            Is it really? What exactly do people want from AI in games? Everybody is always talking about AI that flanks, waits you out, does complex "strategies" to kill you, but when implemented it really is practically invisible.

            The only time that AI is really a problem is when it has poor pathfinding. It's glaringly obvious when a enemy is running endlessly into a wall. But aside from that, you're really just shooting enemies. Sure, maybe they can take cover, go prone or crouch, or run away, but half of t

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Well, let me give an example that really chapped my ass. FEAR-the original. Great game, but one part totally blew the immersion for me. About halfway through or so i am going down the many tunnels and end up in a locker room. I'm sure those that have played the game know which part I am talking about already. A locker gets knocked over partially blocking a hallway. Now you can go left or right and come around quite easily, hell you can even jump over the little wussy dividing wall if you want.

              What does bad

      • Usually it's artwork that takes the bulk of the space.

        How many artists and designers and how much time would you need to create 50GB of artwork/maps/levels? If you could programmatically create it quickly, you are unlikely to need all that capacity right?

        The more artists and designers, or time taken (render time etc), the higher the costs of producing the game.

        Whereas most game rules (and game play) seem to fit well within a few megabytes, if not just a single MB.

        For example the quake executable itself is l
        • Textures. Even compressed, they take up tons of space and you need a lot of them to make levels look nice and pretty. The more detailed, the more textures you're going to need. Heck, even to make it looks BAD from a distance, so as to increase performance (LOD) you guessed it, you need another texture.
          • by neokushan (932374)

            I thought that mipmapping was to stop it aliasing badly?

            • Re:Content (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Creepy (93888) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:16PM (#26970555) Journal

              yes, Mipmapping is one technique to help prevent aliasing - it really is pre-computed anti-aliasing on the texture itself. Ripmaps provide better anti-aliasing (since they do perspective oriented scaling), but they also use a lot more memory.

              For mipmapping, you may have something like this

              using the convention 0x=hexidecimal (base 16, where letters A through F represent numbers 10-15 - FF below is the number 255 [15*16+15]) A=alpha (transparency - 0=fully transparent, FF means fully opaque), R=red, G=green, B=blue


              0xAARRGGBB
              0xFF000033 0xFF000000
              0xFF444444 0xFF000000

              the mipmap averages these for the next level (this is called isotropic filtering)

              0xFF111119

              then depending on the distance, either the higher resolution or lower resolution is used. There are a number of extensions to this idea that give better results (i.e. trilinear filtering, anisotropic filtering, ripmaps), but that is deep ending a bit.

              • by neokushan (932374)

                Indeed, however the parent to my comment seems to be suggesting that multiple (smaller) textures are used to increase performance rather than visual appeal. I may be wrong, but I believe they are referring to mipmapping and as far as I'm aware, they actually suffer a performance disadvantage as changing textures is quite costly. However, if I am mistaken about this, by all means feel free to correct me.

                • Actually, mip-maps improve visual quality and performance if you have the memory available. They improve visual quality due to the reduced aliasing they can provide. The performance improvements are due to caching. You are correct that swapping textures can be a performance problem - even now it's best to sort your primitives to reduce state changes - but when you're using mip-maps, texels (texture elements - a pixel of a texture) are effectively grouped together in a smaller memory footprint. Video cards h
          • by Creepy (93888)

            Not really. I think textures are last or nearly last as far as disk use on most games - I think only models typically use less, although if you count shaders those typically take up less memory than anything, but they are really more like code.

            Pre-rendered movies usually take up more space than anything else.

            Video cards need to split the video ram between geometry and textures, so when it comes to textures, you've usually got 250-300MB of active VRAM to work with. A 512x512 32 bit texture t

            • by Creepy (93888)

              error correction - 1 1/3MB if mipmapped. I was thinking of normal maps, not mipmaps when I typed that.

      • by N1AK (864906)

        But now imagine this, entire television shows on a single disc, you could purchase every season of LOST, every episode, on a single disc. Or The Sopranos, The Office, South Park, or even Anime shows on a single disc. Futurama entire series on a single disc? Please sign me up, immediately.

        I accept that this is an improvement, but I really don't think it is anything more than a tiny one. Besides which this is something that storing media on the system achieves and would do better, just imagine not having to c

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kokuyo (549451)

        Frankly, _I_ like my TV shows in boxes. Married... with Children is effing long and I want it to take a considerable part of my DVD rack.

        If I was all about size I could just as well download everything as DivX and store it on my NAS/Mediacenter.

        Also, I think prices for those should would have to come down (and would thus have much more of an impact than squeezing everything onto a single disc). I don't know how it is in America, but here they even started splitting the Star Trek seasons up in the hopes that

      • by aerton (748473)
        Whilst cut-secenes rendered by game engine became more popular, pre-rendered are still common. All that extra space could be used to store different variations of character's gear instead of sticking to the default. E.g. in RE4 cut-scenes the character is always rendered in the starting cloth even if you are wearing some other vest.

        This does not require that much more effort to create, it would add a little to the immersion and a DVD release could use one version as current games.
        • by neokushan (932374)

          In RE4 on the PS2 and PC, the cut-scenes were pre-rendered as video files, however on the Gamecube they were real time and I believe they reflected the outfits you were wearing at the time.

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            That is correct. The Wii version (the BEST version) used the pre-rendered scenes as well. They looked nice, but I would have preferred using the engine. They sacrificed function for form when they switched to the pre-rendered movies.
            • by neokushan (932374)

              I believe this was a side effect from the PS2 port. If I'm not mistaken, the Gamecube's cut scenes used higher resolution models for the characters than the main game, however the PS2 couldn't handle this so they pre-rendered them instead. They then made a few engine/game tweaks and improvements and all subsequent ports (PC and Wii) were then based off of this code.

      • Were you aware that a significant amount of content was cut from Chrono Trigger? Including at least one dungeon? A beta ROM that had been distributed to magazines before the original SNES release leaked to the Internet a few years back. In it was accessible this extra dungeon; it was removed from the game before release. Many other threads were left hanging. The game's ROM was crammed full to capacity. Coincidence?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rah'Dick (976472)

      Additionally, there is still the problem of content creation - which game studio has the time and resources to generate that much actual game content nowadays, not just pre-rendered ultra-HD cutscenes or music? MGS4 is a pretty good example. It takes an immense amount of work to create a game with that much detail that it fills up a Bluray disk.

      Most of that space could be filled up with procedurally generated environments, but that's just the same "more of the good old stuff" philosophy that Sony's been fol

    • by cshcrgo (1454975)

      I wasn't aware that we were hitting the 50Gb limit of today's BR-DL disks.

      I dont think we are. So maybe this isn't big news for 2009, but what about 2010 or 2011? Games haven't exactly gotten smaller so far.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662)

      And also lets not forget that BluRay is pretty damn slow. In the case of MGS4 you needed 8 minutes of install time to the HD and then again like 4 minutes on each chapter change, not fun. Having gigantic amounts of storage isn't all that useful when you can't read them from the disc fast enough.

      • by neokushan (932374)

        It's not Blu-ray that's slow, it's the PS3's blu-ray drive that is slow. It's only 2x, which is slower compared to the 360's 12x DVD drive, but a 4x BR drive is easily faster than this. Today, BR drives are 6x and higher (at least their PC drives are), so it's not really a problem of the format.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Bingo. We have a winner.... Idiot prize of the week.

          I wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned the Microsoft fueled PS3 BD drive is slow FUD/Bile.

          Get some education please..., whilst you are at it, also learn how to separate FUD from FACT. The internet is full of people that want to trick you into believing their last-gen technology is somehow better..

          FACT:

          360 DVD is only 12x on single layer DVDs (how many games come on single layer DVD, answer: just 4), for everything else, it's 8x.

          360 is

          • by neokushan (932374)

            I'll say to you what I'll say to the guy above - if this were the case, then why do 360 games typically have similar or shorter loading times as their PS3 counterparts?
            Why do (certain) PS3 games NEED to be installed?

            If either of you (anonymous cowards) can give some valid reasons why, I'll listen.

      • See comment here, this guy summed up Microsoft's anti-PS3 marketing very nicely. Some people are so dumb it seems. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1138703&cid=26967875 [slashdot.org]
  • nothing of interest in 2009?




    how about casual games as fun as L4D?
  • proprietary...

    Where's the inventions that have an Open Source-license?

  • ...the year of the 3D Linux desktop!
  • My Predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndrewStephens (815287) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:02AM (#26967401) Homepage

    I predicted the article would be bollocks before I clicked, and I was right! Let me make some other predictions:

    3D Gaming - these glasses have been around for years. Maybe they work better now that everyone has bigger screens with higher refresh rates, but they were useless before. Nobody wants to sit in front of a PC wearing glasses. Perhaps if it were released for consoles it may take off, but I don't think the penetration of 120Mhz TVs is large enough to justify it.

    Blu-Ray Super Disc - do games really need that much storage? Nope. My prediction for the number of games released in 2009 using super discs? Zero.

    Brain Computer Interfaces - I am sure they could sell a few as a gimmick but my understanding is that control is very limited - a few noisy axises at best. I have a hard time imagining a game that could be controlled by brain easier than by fingers. I put it in the Sounds-Good-to-Investors-Neat-Picture-For-Press-Release-Consumers-Don't-Care bucket.

    OLED screens - on their way, but immature. It will take years before they are competitive with LCD. In any case, not really gaming related as such.

    Wii MotionPlus - well duh, great scoop there, IGN! The MotionPlus opens up some additional options for games, I expect some neat things. But it won't be the game-changer that the Wii originally was. Nintendo have a history of adding stuff to consoles, none of their previous efforts have really set the world alight. A modest success, used by only a few games (but these may be classics).

    Windows 7/DirectX11 - better faster, stronger, snore. Nothing revolutionary from the users perspective. Developers might be tempted if Windows7 takes off (which I think it will, if only because it will be shoved down our throats)

    240Mhz TVs - good I guess, but this is not the time to launch an expensive piece of equipment. Its not like consoles are actually going to output at 240Mhz, so the motion-compensation filters had better be good.

    Play-TV - could be a game changer if Sony pulls finger and markets it world-wide. Sony really needs to give the public a new reason to have a PS3, PlayTV could be the tipping point. But I think it might be too little, too late since PVRs aren't exactly rare at this point and it seems limited.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662)

      Somebody please correct me when I am wrong here, but I was under the impression that technology like those 240Hz TVs are meant for movies, not for games. As far as I understand it, they take a handful of frames and then calculate inbetweens to reduce the jitter when the camera is panning in a film. So far so good, the problem however is that they actually need the last frame before they can start displaying the first one, meaning they will generate plenty of lag, which is a non-issue for movies, but makes t

    • by will_die (586523)
      Agree with most but the blu-ray. You do have some games that need it, and they ship on multiple DVDs. Why you will not have any games shipped is because no one, except PS3, ship with them as default.
      One just needs to look at CD readers on computers. They were default items for a long time before CD distributed games became a common method.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by -noefordeg- (697342)

      I can't agree more. "Bigger/Better/Faster"... Yay!

      What about native DirectX support for other platforms, so I can start playing games again. I don't have any Windows-based computers at all (both at office and home).

      What about an open game platform where you can play games, with mods, in an Xbox Live'ish environment. I like some parts of Xbox Live, but the lack of dedicated community based servers/mods make it inferior to PC.

      What about internet/browser based gaming. ID Software is coming with Quake Live now.

      • by Miltazar (1100457)

        Actually DVD's did improve something about gaming, but it wasn't the games so much. The best thing that DVD's brought to the table was having only 1 dvd instead of 2-3 CD's. The games themselves didn't really improve much, and at the moment there are very few PC games(if any) that come on multiple DVD's. Not that it matters, I don't buy games on DVD anymore, I just d/l them off steam. No disc, no problem.

        • Forget 2-3 CDs. I think it was King's Quest IV that had something like 9 five and a quarter inch floppies. I'm glad there was an end to that.
      • by DeadDecoy (877617)
        I actually dread PC games coming on Blue-Rays. On DVDs it's a tolerable convenience but once games get beyond a certain size it's a nightmare to install. The options are:

        1. Hey! Let me install this 50GB game on your HD, just give me a couple hours.
        2. Let me install only a couple of GB and require load times for reading off the Blue-Ray disk.

        To a certain extend, I would like some reasonable constraints placed on how much bloat goes into a game.
      • by tepples (727027)

        I don't have any Windows-based computers at all (both at office and home).

        I don't have any recent Windows-based PCs. Therefore, I cannot play recent games for Windows-based PCs. Likewise, I don't have any recent Sony or Microsoft consoles. Therefore, I cannot play recent games for Sony or Microsoft consoles.

        What about an open game platform where you can play games, with mods, in an Xbox Live'ish environment.

        Isn't this called GFW Live?

        What about internet/browser based gaming.

        I can't see how that would take off. People have complained in comments to several recent Slashdot stories that they never want to install the Java player, possibly because of the sneaky way that its Firefox plug-in gets installed lately. Or were you

    • by ruiner13 (527499)

      Perhaps if it were released for consoles it may take off, but I don't think the penetration of 120Mhz TVs is large enough to justify it.

      Dude, I want to know where you are getting your TVs that can refresh 120 million times per second. That seems like it would eliminate flicker, for sure!

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Having tried many HMD in my previous job, I was very surprised to try the latest one which are light and finally usable. My money is on this.

      I feel it saddening, however, that no game technology focus on the gameplay. Devices, better resolution, better graphic quality, but the games are still the same as Quake I (and less fun than Duke Nukem 3D)
    • by mrjimorg (557309)

      3D Gaming - these glasses have been around for years. Maybe they work better now that everyone has bigger screens with higher refresh rates, but they were useless before. Nobody wants to sit in front of a PC wearing glasses. Perhaps if it were released for consoles it may take off, but I don't think the penetration of 120Mhz TVs is large enough to justify it.

      1. Glasses have been around for years, but they always sucked. The new glasses actually work well - provided you use a 120MHz monitor. The old ones either left ghosts or gave you massive headaches after even a few mins of use.

      2. 120Mhz TV's weren't released until 2009, and considering how deep the recession is, it's no surprise that they haven't had a strong market penetration.

      3. If this tech does take off, then maybe consoles will integrate this, but since it requires these fancy monitors, it's questiona

  • The limiting factor on game size really comes more down to the system it runs on and the economics of making a game. It basically is two interlocking parts:

    1) You can only make a game so big, so involved, so varied, and still expect to make money on it. You cannot spend $1 billion on a game and ever hope to make any money. Thus there are limits as to how much can be in your game: How many different scenes, characters, etc. It costs money to have artists, animators, writers, etc work on all those assets. So

    • To see this demo in action:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Eg3dBnsHk [youtube.com]
    • by paganizer (566360)

      I really wish that more game developers would go procedural; the concept has been around forever (or at least since Strike Commander) and could go a long way towards enhancing replayability.
      I don't think we are going to see the one thing that I PERSONALLY THINK is the thing most needed, however; a end to sloppy code, relying on gigantic libraries, etc.
      We need a Chris Sawyer for the year 2009; programming in assembly, using OpenGL, Procedural synthesis, and capable of making use of a distributed computing me

      • by grumbel (592662)

        (or at least since Strike Commander)

        Sure that you mean Strike Commander? I can't remember anything procedural in that game, maybe the terrain, but other then that it was a very artwork heavy game, quite similar to what we have today. Procedural stuff such in Elite or Elite2 on the other side was extremely impressive, whole solar systems that fit onto a floppy disk, neat stuff. But that was a long time ago and color swapping an image to produce yet another planet isn't going to impress people today. The big disadvantage of real 100% procedural

    • Thus you find that when you take the amount of game you can design and hope to make money, and the amount of assets you can fit in RAM, you get a number that is your real limit, regardless of how much space you have. You also find that for the most part, a DVD is just fine. While you'll find some games on the PS3 that use more, it is with HD videos. That's nice and all, but not really relevant to the core of how good a game looks.

      Am I the only one with ears? Its the sound! Many larger PS3 games come with

      • Many larger PS3 games come with uncompressed 7.1 audio. That's UNCOMPRESSED 7.1 PCM audio, and it sounds incredible.

        So that's why they sound so good. Heck, even the PSN release of Zuma sounds awesome compared to Zuma Deluxe on the PC. (Colors seem more vibrant on the PSN Zuma and Bejeweled too, but that may just be HDMI full range in action compared to the laptops screen) I also enjoyed the bump in sound quality from the PS1 to the PS2 as well, though the sound improvement from cartridge games to the PS1 g

        • If you want truly astonishing sound for a last-generation platform, play Black on the PS2. Because of how audio was compressed, the sound effects weren't as nice as they'd hoped, and the developed a way to re-integrate the missing frequencies into the audio after the mixing stage.

          There's a description of it on Criterion's website somewhere.

          Resistance: FoM in 7.1 uncompressed though? Outstanding.

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        There are choices in between 128k mp3s, and uncompressed audio. Uncompressed audio makes absolutely no sense, except as an archival medium to make compressed audio from. A well compressed piece of music, at a moderately high bit rate, can't be distinguished from the original.

        I think the uncompressed 7.1 sound is marketing fluff... there needs to be SOMETHING filling up a BluRay disk, so why not raw audio? It's not actually any better, but we can claim it is.
        • Excuse me, but I actually purported that it sounds better to me. It sounds better to my wife too, and she's no audiophile, just a music lover.

          When you watch "Blood Diamond" and hear it in 7.1 uncompressed audio, the difference between that and dts or DD is obvious and enveloping.

          Nobody's saying there aren't trade-offs -- but in gaming, uncompressed audio also requires less processing power to handle and therefore frees up processing time for other useful functions of the game. No need to decompress that M

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:10AM (#26967443)

    http://games.kikizo.com/features/50-hottest-things-in-2009-gaming-p1.asp [kikizo.com]
    The 50 Hottest Things in Gaming in 2009

    Here's another list, much more expanded, in case you don't like the watered down version IGN is offering.

  • Retro (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @08:08AM (#26968043) Homepage Journal
    Money's tight, people aren't going to shell out megabucks on the latest and greatest games - or the hardware to run it.
  • Developers who use DirectX are locking themselves up into Windows and Xbox.

    Developers who use OpenGL are locking themselves up into Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Playstation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS (?), PSP (?).

    Guess which one has more total marketshare?

    Hint 1: both choices include Windows, so choose carefully.

    Hint 2: over 25% of students on campus use a Mac. Grandma using her old Windows 98 PC at home to check email isn't a gamer yet is counted as part of the total Windows Marketshare.

    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      Yeah, but you see there are more aspects to this than just portability, like performance or scope. You'll need more than just OpenGL to do what DirectX does, if I'm not mistaken.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The part of DirectX that is nice in any respect is Direct3d.

        Really, the two hardest things in game development are A) The Renderer and B) The simulation code.

        Direct3d and OpenGL are used for the renderer and simulation is typically API independent/proprietary (aside from some things like physics libraries).

        The rest of game technologies development takes much less time than the two part listed above.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Yeah, but you see there are more aspects to this than just portability, like performance or scope. You'll need more than just OpenGL to do what DirectX does, if I'm not mistaken.

        SDL, Allegro, OpenAL, or even just homemade wrappers around the native audio and input subsystems cover this. It's still less scope than OpenGL vs. DirectX, unless you're dealing with fairly complex like the low-latency audio in a rhythm game produced under a Konami patent license.

    • by Creepy (93888)

      If those handhelds use OpenGL (like the iPhone) they probably use OpenGL ES (embedded systems), which is a subset of OpenGL.

      I'm venting a bit (ok, a lot) here, but I've found that Apple makes it extremely painful to write cross platform OpenGL code. First, they use a non-standard macro file for glext.h, but the framework prefers it over any you include even if you #include yours first, so you need to define a variable GL_GLEXT_LEGACY so it doesn't get included. Then Apple recommends you don't use macros a

    • This is why there are so few (if any) good third-party games on the Wii.

      All of the platforms have diverged to the point where you can't simply port and sell. If you're developing a Wii game, you damn well better be designing around the controls. If you're developing a DS game, you damn well better be designing around touch screen, and two screens. If you're developing for the PC, you damn well better be taking advantage of the mouse and keyboard. If you're developing for the PS3, you damn well better be

      • by tepples (727027)

        If you're developing a Wii game, you damn well better be designing around the controls. If you're developing a DS game, you damn well better be designing around touch screen, and two screens. If you're developing for the PC, you damn well better be taking advantage of the mouse and keyboard. If you're developing for the PS3, you damn well better be taking advantage of the blu-ray storage and the wacky architecture.

        What should I develop for if I haven't already published a title on the PC?

        • Depends on the game, depends on the audience, depends on the feature set. Right tool for the right job and all that.

          For example, there's a game that just recently came out on Xbox Live called Interpol or some such. The idea is, you're presented with a static scene, a list of clues. Your cursor is a magnifying glass.

          This game just screams out 'DS!' But it's on Xbox, and it's stupid.

          Or take Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: My Life As King on WiiWare. This game does exactly one thing with the Wiimote: y

          • by tepples (727027)

            This game just screams out 'DS!' But it's on Xbox, and it's stupid.

            Because Microsoft is allegedly easier to deal with than Nintendo: all you have to do is write your game in C# or another CLR language and then pay Microsoft $100 per year for the XNA certificate. With Nintendo, on the other hand, you have to have an established business with office space and preferably a prior published PC title. Would you have preferred that the game come out on Pocket PC or iPod Touch instead of Xbox 360?

            • Oh sure, there's always politics and what not. It's that behaviour that Sony took advantage of to win with the PS1, and Microsoft then took advantage of to win with the 360.

    • Developers who use DirectX are locking themselves up into Windows and Xbox.

      Developers who use OpenGL are locking themselves up into Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Playstation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS (?), PSP (?).

      Let's restrict this to only those platforms that don't use a lockout chip to completely prevent indie teams from developing games:

      Developers who use DirectX are locking themselves up into Windows and Xbox.

      Developers who use OpenGL are locking themselves up into Windows, Mac OS X, Linux.

      Xbox 360 has XNA Creators Club and Community Games, a similar licensing model to that of the iPhone SDK and App Store. I would wager that there are more people who play games on Xbox 360 than play games on Mac OS X and GNU/Linux combined. So some indie game developers are tempted to go the XNA route because XNA can reach more customers than Mac or Linux.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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